Hilal coach wary of Downs’ challenge

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Al Hilal head coach Zoran Manojlovic says his club carries the hope of 75% of Sudanese people who are backing them to bring positive results against Mamelodi Sundowns.

Hilal, who are celebrating 91 years of existence today, will take on 2016 champions Mamelodi Sundowns in a CAF Champions League group B match at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Saturday at 18:00.

The two-time finalists are on a 12-match unbeaten streak and face the South African champions, who have also not lost in their last 18 matches in all competitions.

“I know (the expectations), it’s a big responsibility. The whole nation, 75% of the nation want to see Hilal win or have a good result here,” Manojlovi told the media on Friday.

“We know that it’s a big game, but we will try to play our football. Any point we can get here, three or one would be a good result for me because there are five matches to go and I hope we will have a good start and a good game. Hopefully, all people of Sudan who like football and who like Hilal will be behind us, and we will have a good game for them,” he said.

“We are playing against a big team in Africa, Mamelodi Sundowns, who are very strong and stronger at home. We have prepared for the big and very hard game and we will do our best,” added the former Wydad mentor.

TP Mazembe of the DRC will host CR Belouizdad of Algeria in the other Group B match starting at 15:00.

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By Ofhani Munyai

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